Viber Desktop for Mac and Windows hits as Skype gets competition

Mobile VoIP service Viber has decided to put down roots on the desktop, with the launch of OS X and Windows versions that turn the messaging system into a legitimate Skype alternative. The new Viber Desktop apps – which come alongside updates to its mobile software – support the majority of the features smartphone users are familiar with, but also benefit from intelligent message and call routing which means not every device will bleep whenever a new alert comes through.

Instead, after the first alert is made across all devices logged into the same account, Viber will only then notify the user on the device they initially check. So, if you're at your desktop, and you use Viber on your PC or Mac, you won't also have your phone vibrating gleefully to itself by the keyboard every time somebody IMs you.

The per-device awareness also allows Viber to do call-transferring, handing over ongoing VoIP calls to different devices as with a multi-extension system. There's also contact and message sync, meaning all devices have the same call records.

Viber for Mac:

Both HD-voice quality audio calls and video calling is supported, and there's text and photo messaging too; Viber also supports group conversations of up to 40 people. As for the mobile apps, there's now support for stickers and emoticons in messages, the ability to send locations as messages, and the ability to use your phone's sounds rather than the default Viber alerts.